Attachment Parenting

There has been a lot of hype recently about attachment parenting because of the following pictures in Time magazine:

Unfortunately it seems to be a lot of negative hype and shock at the fact that a Mom can still be breastfeeding her little one at the age of 3 and now suddenly there is a lot to be said about attachment parenting. I did do allot of research into different parenting styles (as a first time Mom tends to do), and although I didn’t turn around and say that I was going to raise Madame a certain parenting style, I am fully behind attachment parenting, to me it is the natural style of parenting.

But what is attachment parenting? This was the most informative explanation I found for attachment parenting:
“The term, “attachment parenting”, was conceived by paediatrician William Sears and his wife Martha, to describe a highly responsive, attentive style of caring for a child. Attachment parenting promotes physical and emotional closeness between parent and child through what the Sears refer to as the “Baby Bs.” The Baby Bs are bonding, breastfeeding, babywearing, bedsharing and boundary building.  Attachment parenting advocates encourage parents to hold their baby often in the early sensitive weeks of life to foster bonding. Breastfeeding is promoted because it enhances the mother’s natural instincts to respond to her baby through physical closeness, hormonal influences and promotion of attentiveness. Both babywearing, the practice of carrying the baby on the parents’ body with an infant carrier or sling, and bedsharing, parents and babies sleeping in the same bed, provide additional opportunities for closeness. Boundary building is a discipline philosophy that entails responding to the genuine, age appropriate needs of the child and using gentle guidance. All of the Baby Bs are aimed at promoting a trusting, intuitive relationship between parents and baby through the physical and emotional closeness that makes it easier to know and appropriately respond to the baby’s needs.”

So I decided to break it down into the most common practices of attachment parenting and how Madame and I cope or handle things:

  • Having a natural, peaceful childbirth and bonding with the baby through rooming-in at the hospital 

I had a natural water birth with Madame, apparently it was peaceful, I personally don’t consider being in pain peaceful so Im going on what others have told me.  Madame never left my side, she slept in the bed with me at the clinic, infact the only time she left the room was when we left to go home. She was right there with me, she wasn’t bought to me and I didn’t have to ask for her, I couldn’t think of any other way I would have wanted it.

  • Breastfeeding the baby on demand as opposed to a schedule

When I was still exclusively breastfeeding her, it was on demand. Madame is not good with schedule feeding even with the bottle, we tried it and it worked for a few days, then all hell broke loose. So now she feeds when she is hungry and she feeds as much as she will in that sitting – she doesn’t ever go over the allotment of bottles during the 24 hour period, in fact she has less that what is recommended.

  • Answering baby’s cries quickly (not letting baby “cry it out”)

The only time I let her cry it out is when she is going down for her night sleep, but then again, I only let her cry it out if she cries with her head down, if she is pushing up on her arms, there is no ways she is going to go to sleep and there is no point in allowing her to get all hysterical and work herself up.

  • Wearing the baby as much as possible using a sling or baby carrier

Her sling has been a lifesaver for me and it makes it so much easier to wash bottles with if she is on my back! She loves her own space and gets grizzy if she has been in arms too much, but who wouldn’t want their baby right with then as much as possible?

  • Having baby with you as much as possible (avoiding baby sitters if possible)

Madame goes to school, because I go to work. That is the only time that we are apart. Where I go she goes, it’s really that simple. If you cannot accommodate Madame Ladybug, sorry I won’t be there. Once a month she is looked after by her Grandparents, but even then I will only leave once she is asleep for the night.

  • Having baby sleep in your bedroom (either in your bed or in a crib next to your bed) so you can respond quickly to baby and he can adjust to your sleep cycle.

Now this is a controversial way of raising you little one. Madame has slept in my bed from day one, I have a queen size bed and she has her side and I have mine. She sleeps in her cot for her naps but at night she sleeps with me. I am convinced that this is also why she has been sleeping through since 3 weeks old. She also doesn’t see the need to wake up and scream. She wakes up peacefully and in her waking up and stirring, I am aware that she is waking up. Often I have come into the room to do something and I I find she has woken up from a nap and she is happily laying in her cot munching on her fist and I wasn’t even aware that she was awake yet.

  • Avoiding using material items sooth baby such as pacifiers, swings, strollers, etc.

This is one thing that I bend the “rules” on attachment parenting by, Madame has a dummy, well several. At the moment she is using them more for teething purposes but she also doesn’t have them in her mouth all the time.

  • Balance

While attachment parenting is all about meeting the needs of your little one it does not mean you need to burn yourself out… This is where my Super Mom powers are letting me down a little at the moment. I need to find a balance between work, Madame, study and me. At the moment the me part isn’t happening because I want to spend all my time with Madame.

Attachment parenting is about knowing your baby and responding to what your instincts and knowledge of your baby tell you it is right. Attachment parenting is a vehicle to get to know your baby and develop your own unique and sensitive parenting style, this is my parenting style and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

This is what works for me, for us.  It doesn’t always work for everyone, there is no right or wrong parenting style, its all about you, what works for you and what you are comfortable with.

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